The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Varicose veins

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are a common vascular problem.

Once a patient has checked into our outpatients department they will be taken in to see the doctor who will take the patient’s medical history and examine their leg(s). During this examination patients will be asked to stand, which will encourage the veins to fill and become more prominent. Using a small dopper machine the doctor will listen to the blood flow in the groin and behind the knee. This will determine whether there is any reflux or backflow through the valves.

Following this patients are referred for an ultrasound scan which is usually performed within six weeks of the initial consultation and will be made by the ultrasound department. This will help to identify the leakage areas and enable the doctor to determine the appropriate treatment. Following the scan, patients will be required to attend a second outpatient’s appointment with the doctor to discuss the scan results and agree a course of treatment.


Compression stockings: These relieve the symptoms associated with varicose veins. This form of treatment is highly successful however they may prove uncomfortable in warm weather.

Sclerotherapy: This involved the injection of an irritant (sclerosant) which damages the lining of the vein causing it to clot, preventing blood into the varicose vein.

Endovenous Laser Ablation: This procedure is done under local anaesthetic. It is done as a day case procedure in our laser theatre located in surgical outpatients department. This treatment is highly successful, however may not be suitable for all patients due to their varicose veins being too tortuous.

Information about other vascular conditions can be found on the left hand menu.